HC Deb 30 July 1962 vol 664 cc15-6
6. Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the hazard to dental health resulting from iced lollies containing high concentrations of citric or tartaric acid; and what action be proposes to take in order to mitigate the risk to children's teeth.

Mr. Braine

My right hon. Friend is advised that iced lollies are not more dangerous to children's teeth than many other kinds of sweet.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

While thanking my hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask whether he is aware that it was to the high content of tartaric or citric acid in iced lollies rather than the iced lollies in general that I was referring in my Question? Further, is he aware that the dental authorities have drawn attention to the hazard of high concentrations of these acids? Will he, therefore, consider what action he should advise his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to take?

Mr. Braine

I understand that it is quite true that acids can decalcify the teeth, and, if combined with sugar, can hasten decay. A good deal is being done by local health and education authorities to encourage good habits of oral hygiene among children, and the problem caused by acids in lollies and soft drinks is being examined now by my Department and by the major ice cream manufacturers' research laboratories.

Dr. Stross

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that the hydrogen iron concentration in Coca-Cola is much higher than in iced lollies, and that there we have phosphoric acid plus sugar and the greatest danger comes from that source?

Mr. Speaker

We cannot go round all the acids and all the sweets.